ARC: My Best Everything

Romance and moonshine become entwined during Lulu's last summer after high school in a small Virginia town. #spon | A book review by Newbery and Beyond

Note: I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Luisa “Lulu” Mendez has just finished her final year of high school in a small Virginia town, determined to move on and leave her job at the local junkyard behind. So when her father loses her college tuition money, Lulu needs a new ticket out.
Desperate for funds, she cooks up the (illegal) plan to make and sell moonshine with her friends. Quickly realizing they’re out of their depth, they turn to Mason, a local boy who’s always seemed like a dead end. As Mason guides Lulu through the secret world of moonshine, it looks like her plan might actually work. But can she leave town before she loses everything?
My Best Everything is Lulu’s letter to Mason–but it a love letter, an apology, or a good-bye? (Summary via
I loved the premise of this book.  Lulu is desperate to get out of her small-town life, but she doesn’t have the funds to go to her dream college.  So she decides on moonshining as her best bet for quick money–even though it puts herself and her two best friends in the hands of bad boy Mason.
There’s a lot of details in the descriptions of the friends’ adventures as shiners, which I loved.  It’s an unusual theme for a YA book, but it tied together well with the more familiar theme of wanting to escape and move on to a bigger life.  Fortunately for Lulu, her parents were both absent during most of the book, but I wished they had been a little more present in the book.  They were interesting, if not likable, characters, and I wish we had gotten to see more of their influence on Lulu’s life as she pursued her dangerous new job.
I enjoyed the way the book is written in second person–you don’t see a whole lot of that in fiction.  It’s written, like the summary says, as a letter from Lulu to Mason, recapping everything they went through that summer.  My one problem with the book is that, even though the plot itself is interesting and unusual, the characters are not very memorable.  They’re typical small-town teenagers, working and partying and getting in trouble, but I didn’t connect to them as much as I would have liked.
Rating: Good but Forgettable
P.S.  If you’re interested in more unusual summer adventures, try Scumble or Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold.

About Monica

I am obsessed with all things books. I'm a music teacher by day and a freelance editor by night.

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